Unlike informal beer tastings, organized wine tastings rarely result in collisions between foreheads, aluminum cans, and dignity. Sip sophisticatedly with today's Groupon to the Van Ruiten Family Vineyards in Lodi. The Van Ruiten's winery puts the liquid spirits of euthanized grapes to good use in its vast storehouse of varied vinos. Grab a friend or date and visit the fermented fields any day of the week for a tongue-awakening tour and chaperoned tasting, and then exercise your newly educated palate by picking out a bottle to take home (select anything valued up to $25). Check the tasting room wine list to prepare long-apathetic taste buds for a wine-assisted revelation.
- Maybe it's the vine-covered arbor that glows when the sun sets on their outdoor pavilion. Maybe it's the fireplace that crackles inside during winter months. Heck, maybe it's just the wine. – San Joaquin Magazine
- The tastings at Van Ruiten are free (yay!) and the staff is always very friendly, and never pushy about selling you the wines. They really are sincere about wanting to share their family business with you! – Angie M., Yelp
Van Ruiten Family Vineyards
In the years following World War II, Dutch immigrant John Van Ruiten sought to fulfill his dream of owning a vineyard. With a simple handshake as his contract, he purchased the land that would help him turn that reverie into a verdant realty. More than a half-century later, the wine empire spawned by that handshake continues to sprawl as quickly as the vines of its zinfandel grapes. These grapes and more now stretch across the 800 acres that Van Ruiten Family Vineyards call home, earning the winery high accolades—including a nod in the Wall Street Journal proclaiming their 2007 old vine zinfandel among the top 12 wines in the world in 2009.
In Van Ruiten's tasting room, guests can sample the winery's signature zinfandel, chardonnay, and cabernet sauvignon–shiraz blend before retiring to shady corners of the courtyard or an outdoor patio overlooking the vineyards. Among the vines, nesting boxes house owls that—as an alternative to pesticides—hunt down rodents and use their bright eyes to scare away enterprising grape thieves.
340 W Hwy 12
Lodi, California 95242Get Directions